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  • News

    Explanation for G’s imprecision stumbles

    Tiny changes in Earth’s rotation rate could explain physicists’ inability to precisely measure a key fundamental constant of nature, a study in the April EPL proposes. Physicists say the idea would be extremely compelling — if not for some confusion with dates that probably derails the findings.

    A graph in the paper shows that the measured values of Newton’s gravitational...

    04/30/2015 - 16:23 Physics, Earth
  • News

    Cosmic rays illuminate lightning

    High-speed particles from space are helping to unravel a high-voltage mystery in the clouds.

    Astronomers have determined the strength of electric fields in thunderclouds by detecting the radio wave signature of cosmic ray particles striking the atmosphere. Reported April 24 in Physical Review Letters, the research...

    04/29/2015 - 12:00 Earth, Particle Physics
  • News

    Stronger quakes could strike other segments of Nepal fault

    The April 25 earthquake that devastated Nepal, killing thousands, isn’t the end of seismic hazards in the region. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake relieved pent-up stress along just one segment of the tectonic plate boundary between India and the rest of Asia. Even larger quakes could strike to the west and in nearby Bhutan to the east, scientists warn.

    Where and how intensely future...

    04/28/2015 - 12:07 Earth
  • News

    Hidden water found deep beneath Antarctica desert valley

    The underside of Antarctica’s dry valleys isn’t so dry after all.

    Researchers have discovered extensive saltwater basins more than 100 meters beneath the permafrost, glaciers and frozen lakes that cover one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Scientists had previously believed this underground realm was hard, frozen earth. The newly discovered groundwater may have been sealed off for millions of...

    04/28/2015 - 11:00 Earth, Microbes
  • News in Brief

    Massive magma pool found deep below Yellowstone

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    Every day, the supervolcano lurking under Yellowstone National Park belches up 45,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — much more than could be produced by the known magma chamber that lies just below the surface. Now, scientists have spotted a source of the excess gas, and it’s a doozy. They’ve discovered a magma pool containing enough hot rock to fill...

    04/23/2015 - 14:00 Earth
  • Editor's Note

    Driving Curiosity to discovery

    Clara Ma, who in 2009 won an essay contest to name NASA’s new Mars rover, named it Curiosity. “Curiosity,” the young student wrote, “is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind....

    04/22/2015 - 09:00 Astrobiology, Climate, Genetics, Earth
  • Science Ticker

    The moon is about as old as we thought it was

    Many, many moons ago, a proto-planet the size of Mars slammed into early Earth. In its wake, the collision left a planetary disk that formed the moon and sent bits of proto-planet flying into our solar system’s main asteroid belt. The collision occurred around 4.47 billion years ago, researchers report in the April 17 ...

    04/17/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science, Earth
  • News

    Meeting of the Americas came early, study suggests

    North and South America may have hooked up 10 million years earlier than thought.

    Many scientists think that the seaway separating the two continents closed about 3 million years ago, sparking mass animal migrations and an ice age in the Northern Hemisphere. After analyzing crystals excavated from an ancient South American streambed, researchers...

    04/09/2015 - 14:00 Earth
  • News in Brief

    Canadian glaciers face drastic demise

    The Great White North may lose its glaciers faster than previously thought. A detailed physics simulation of how glaciers melt in a warming world show that Western Canada’s glaciers will shed 70 percent of their ice by 2100 relative to their 2005 volumes, researchers report online April 6 in Nature Geoscience. That level...

    04/06/2015 - 11:00 Climate, Earth
  • Screentime

    Spot the northern lights with Aurorasaurus

    The Twitterverse can help you catch a glimpse of the shimmering northern lights. The NASA-backed Aurorasaurus project uses crowdsourcing to assemble a real-time map of aurora sightings around the Northern Hemisphere. Aurora-related tweets and reports made by citizen scientists feed in to the project through its smartphone apps and website.

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    04/03/2015 - 07:00 Earth, Astronomy